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Professor Emily Banks AM

Professor Emily Banks has worked tirelessly to improve the health of all Australians.

Her extensive research into population health is changing public behaviours, guiding health care professionals and having a big impact in the community.

Professor Banks has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her achievements and service to medical research and education.

“I was so thrilled and humbled by this award. I have always derived a huge amount of fulfilment through my work and working with a team of fantastic people.

“I think what’s really important is to recognise that public health works on a very large scale - it’s not the sort of thing you can do on your own. It only works if the community takes action and in that way, it is the ultimate team sport. The recognition that I have received is really recognition of what the community has achieved.”

Professor Banks speaks passionately about her work. One of her greatest career highlights was her involvement with the World Health Organization (WHO). Together they provided the United Nations (UN) with evidence for their resolution to eliminate female genital mutilation.

She has also done extensive work in the area of tobacco control-related research and is delighted to see Australia’s progress on this.

“I think people forget that smoking is still our number one cause of disease. It causes 8 million deaths a year worldwide, which is more than 10% of all deaths in the world every year.”

Professor Banks has been involved in supporting Order of Australia nominations in the past, and plans to nominate a worthy Australian in the future.

The Order of Australia relies on nominations – Professor Banks’ was recognised because someone in her community felt her commitment to public health shouldn’t go unnoticed. Nominations can be made at any time, by anyone – find out more.